July 29, 2011

Aug. 1 PA Environment Digest

August 1 PA Environment Digest now available. Click Here to print this Digest.

SRBC Hosts 2 Hearings On Natural Gas Regulation Changes

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission is reminding the public of two hearings to be conducted on August 2 and August 4 to explain and receive public comments on proposed regulatory revisions, most of which regard the approval of natural gas projects, addition of new definitions, renewals of expiring approvals, restructuring of water source approvals and incorporation of certain policies and practices into regulation.
The two public hearings will be held on:
-- August 2, 10:00 a.m., Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market St., Harrisburg, Pa.
-- August 4, 7:00 p.m., Holiday Inn Binghamton Downtown, 2-8 Hawley St., Binghamton, N.Y.
Persons planning to present oral testimony at one or both public hearings should provide prior notice, if possible, to Richard Cairo, General Counsel, Susquehanna River Basin Commission, 1721 North Front Street, Harrisburg, PA, 17102, Phone: 717-238-0423, ext 306, Fax: 717-238-2436 or send email to: rcairo@srbc.net.
The deadline for comments August 23. Click Here to read more….

Friday NewsClips

Lawmakers Wants To Turn Liquor Stores Over To Private Industry
State Store Sales Split The GOP
Bill Would Replace One Liquor Monopoly With Another
Corbett Big Fan Of Film Tax Credit
Corbett Signs Law Keeping Court Filing Fees
Transportation Funding Commission Readies Report
DeWeese Lawyers File Challenge To Corruption Case
Rep. Metcalfe May Have Used Tax Money To Attend Conservative Conferences
Happy Hour Gets Happier In PA
Supreme Court Authorizes Payments For Juvenile Victims
Slots Revenue Drops At Mohegan Sun, Mount Airy Drops
Harrisburg Council Cancels Act 47 Re-Vote
Click Here for today's Environmental NewsClips

July 22, 2011

July 25 PA Environment Digest Now Available

July 25 PA Environment Digest now available.  Click Here to print this Digest.

Lt. Gov. Cawley: Marcellus Shale Commission Issues Final Report

Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley Friday released the final report of the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission, taking the first step toward developing a comprehensive and strategic plan for responsible natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania.
            The unanimously-adopted report contains 96 policy recommendations that include tougher regulations for drilling, doubling fines for violations, creating jobs in related industries and promoting the use of natural gas vehicles.
            "Today, Pennsylvania is taking an important, first step toward creating tens of thousands of jobs and leading the nation toward energy independence and doing so in an environmentally responsible way," said Cawley.  Click Here to read more...

Lt. Gov. Cawley: Marcellus Shale Commission Issues Final Report

Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley Friday released the final report of the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission, taking the first step toward developing a comprehensive and strategic plan for responsible natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania.
            The unanimously-adopted report contains 96 policy recommendations that include tougher regulations for drilling, doubling fines for violations, creating jobs in related industries and promoting the use of natural gas vehicles.
            "Today, Pennsylvania is taking an important, first step toward creating tens of thousands of jobs and leading the nation toward energy independence and doing so in an environmentally responsible way," said Cawley.
            Some of the key recommendations the panel made to Governor Corbett include:
-- Increasing the distance between gas well sites and streams, private wells and public water systems;
-- Posting more information online for the public;
-- Tougher civil and criminal penalties for violators;
-- Assisting PA companies to do business with natural gas industry;
-- Training Pennsylvanians to work in the industry; and
-- Developing "Green Corridors" for vehicles powered by natural gas.
            "This commission brought the industry, environmental groups and local government leaders together to the same table where we methodically and publicly worked out these comprehensive recommendations," said Cawley.      
            Gov. Corbett formed the 30-member commission in March, giving them 120 days to develop recommendations on all aspects of natural gas drilling.  The commission held 21 public meetings, heard 60 expert presentations and reviewed more than 650 emails and letters from the public.
            A copy of the report is available online.
Related Blog Posts

Friday NewsClips

Scarnati Says Liquor Store Divestiture Not Top Senate Priority
Senate Leader: No Rush On Taking Booze Biz Private
Senate To Move Slow On Sale Of Liquor Stores
Liquor Store Privatization Hits Major Roadblock
Drive To Privatize LCB Hits A Big Roadblock
Op-Ed: Corbett Needs To Think Long Term In PA Budget
Editorial: Roads, Transit To Get Help?
Editorial: Businesses Paying For Unemployment Fund Debt
Grand Jury To Continue State Gaming Board Probe
Relative Unknown To GOP Wants U.S. Senate Seat
Editorial: Kanjorski Tight-Lipped On Future Plans
Lawmakers Demand End to Highmark-UPMC Dispute
10 Percent Toll Increase For Cash Customers By Turnpike
PA Jobless Rate Rises To 7.6 Percent
Piccola Asks Governor To Help Block Harrisburg Commuter Tax
Click Here for today's Environmental NewsClips

July 21, 2011

Computers Back In Operation At DEP After Shutdown

Computers are back and operating at the state Department of Environmental Protection after a problem caused by a contractor error during scheduled maintenance forced workers to stay off their computers throughout the morning.

DEP Hit With Significant Computer Problems

The Harrisburg Patriot-News reported Workers at the state Department of Environmental Protection were greeted this morning with a warning not to turn on their computers. Those who got that word after they had already logged on found whatever was on their hard drives seemingly disappear, a worker said.

Thursday NewsClips

State Services, Assets To Receive Scrutiny
Editorial: Governor Should Heed Transportation Commission Ideas
Editorial: Reasonable Map For State Transit
Gaming Board Renews Presque Isle Downs Casino License
Editorial: Higher Stakes For Teenagers, Casinos
Wagner Receives National Award For Accountability For 2nd Time
John Baer: More Beer Facts
Urgency Will Force Harrisburg Officials To Work Together
Rejection By Council Is Golden Opportunity For Harrisburg Mayor
Lawsuits Back In Play After Harrisburg Council's Act 47 Plan Rejection
How Did Harrisburg Get Millions In Debt?
Harrisburg Incinerator: History Of The Project
Name Suggestions Pour In For Corbetts' New Puppies
Penn State Gets Unflattering Recognition From GQ Magazine
Click Here for today's Environmental NewsClips

July 19, 2011

Tuesday NewsClips

Cost Of Driving Could Be Going Up In State
Fees, Taxes Would Rise To Fund Transportation
Corbett Panel Eyes $2.7 Billion For Transportation
Transportation Panel Issues Recommendations
Panel Proposes Funding Mix To Fix Roads, Bridges
Transportation Panel Urges Raising Drivers' Fee, Gas Tax
Commission Approves Recommendations To Fund Transportation
Op-Ed: The Case For Corbett's No Tax Increase Stand
Corbett To Get 3rd Commission Going To Study State Issue
State Worker Union Ratifies Contract To Freeze Pay
Stop-And-Go Shops Win A Legal Battle Over Alcohol Sales
John Baer: State Store Workers Bite Back
GOP Senators Hope To Regulate UPMC-Highmark Divorce
Senate To Weigh In On Health Care Dispute
New Owners Of Track-Casino Sound Familiar
Tuition Going Up At Three State-Related Universities
LCCC Remains Important Part In Region's Growth
Editorial: Prudent To Probe School Test Cheating
Cumberland County DA Considers Run For Attorney General
Challenger To Charlie Dent Surfaces
Santorum Tells NH Voters To Give Until It Hurts
Dauphin County Democrats Have Registration Edge, Not At Polls
PA 8th In Highest Mortgage Closing Costs
Report: State's Middle Class Under Siege
Harrisburg Mayor Wants Council To Adopt Act 47 Plan
Harrisburg Mayor Would Introduce Plan Identical To Act 47
Column: Act 47 Plan Sacrifices Harrisburg For Incinerator Debt
Editorial: Act 47 Plan Is Right Choice
Click Here for today's Environmental NewsClips

July 18, 2011

Transportation Commission Recommends New Fees, Higher Taxes To Fund Improvements

In contrast to concerns about not adopting a Marcellus Shale severance tax for statewide environmental restoration, Gov. Corbett's Transportation Funding Advisory Commission today unanimously recommended $2.7 billion in new transportation taxes and fees to finance highway, bridge and mass transit maintenance and improvements, according to reporting by Capitolwire.com.
           The recommendations do not include a higher gas tax, however, the biggest increase will hit motorists because the Commission proposed to uncap the Oil Company Franchise Tax on gasoline which would raise about $1.36 billion.
           The changes would be phased in over five years, and according to the Commission, would cost a driver traveling 12,000 miles a year $24 the first year increasing to $26.06 the fifth year.
           Overall, the proposal would provide--
-- $481 million for state highways and bridges in year one, $1.99 billion by year five;
-- $80 million for local highways and bridges in year one, $332 million by year five; and
-- $200 million for mass transit in year one, $404 million by year five.
           Other recommendations include:
-- Raise the driver’s license and vehicle registration fees by the consumer price index for 2012, then raising them three percent a year annually. For vehicle registration, it would rise from $36 a year to $49. On a tractor-trailer, of 80,000 pounds, the fee would go from $1,687 to more than $2,200 annually. That would raise $412 million initially, $574 million by year five. The commission discussed raising the registration fee for truckers over five years;
-- Cap the $570 million the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation annually pays for state police;
-- Move about half of that sum, $300 million of that $570 million, from the PennDOT budget to the general fund;
-- Restructure Act 44 to move $200 million from highways to mass transit, $200 million for transit, no net change;
-- Changes to bring in $67 million initially, $222 million by year five;
-- Increase the local mass transit match to 15 of new money if local option source, small games of chance, enabled by law, is required to draw state dollars: $29 million in year two, $118 million by year five;
-- Send 2 percent of all state sales taxes to transit: $44 million in year two, $172 million by year five;
-- Modernization and cost-savings to fund roads, highways and bridges: $10 million in year one; $66 million by year five. Those would include higher fines and fees for various activities. Also nearly $6 million for renewing licenses and registration every two years; and
-- Transit fees: 2 percent of all sales tax; $172 million by mid-2016; $50 million from small games of chance for transit local share or local funding.
           The final report and executive summary are available online.

Monday NewsClips

New State Website to List All Revenue, Expenditures
Editorial: Nonunion State Workers Getting Hurt
Midstate District Attorney Considers AG Run
Op-Ed: PA Redistricting Could Tighten PA Races
Editorial: Liquor Privatizing Concerns
HACC President Looks To Cut Costs For Students
Editorial: Improve Voucher Bill
Editorial: Tables Games Will Worth The Gamble
Movers, Shakers To Buy Lawrence County Race Track Casino
Click Here for today's Environmental NewsClips

July 15, 2011

July 18 PA Environment Digest Now Available

July 18 PA Environment Digest now available.  Click Here to print this Digest.

Governor's Marcellus Commission Recommends Impact Fee, Forced Pooling

After a day-long meeting punctuated by lots of discussion, the Governor's Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission finished work on about 100 recommendations which included urging the adoption of an impact fee, a general statement on forced pooling of natural gas properties and a bigger role for county conservation districts in regulating drilling operations for erosion and sedimentation problems.
            The final report was passed unanimously by the Commission, but some Commission members noted not all the recommendations were supported by each member.
            Members of the Commission each had the recommendations before them, but the text of the proposals were not available to the public online before the meeting or to the audience attending as handouts.  All that's known about the recommendations was gleaned from verbal comments made at the meeting.
            Each of the four work groups: Environmental Protection and Public Health, Local Impacts and Emergency Response, Economic and Workforce Development and Infrastructure reported generally on agreed-to recommendations. The recommendations were then voted on in groups or individual recommendations were called out by number and discussed or changed.
            New recommendations, in particular by environmental groups, were suggested, discussed and voted on, but again the text of the changes were not available.  Click Here for more....

Marcellus Commission Adopts Impact Fee, Forced Pooling Recommendations

After a day-long meeting punctuated by lots of discussion, theGovernor's Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission finished work on over 100 recommendations which included adoption of an impact fee and forced pooling of natural gas properties.
           The final report was passed unanimously by the Commission, but some Commission members noted not all the recommendations were supported by each member.
           A motion by Lt. Gov. Cawley, who Chaired the Commission,to make all the initial recommendations made to the Commission public was passed by the full Commission.
           A copy of the complete set of recommendations and an additional paper on Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania will be reviewed by the Governor and released on July 22.
           Details will be available in the July 18 PA Environment Digest.

Friday NewsClips

Analysis: Liquor Privatization's Potent Cocktail
State Has Thirst For Taxes On Liquor
John Baer: Booze Battle
Budget Eliminates WAMS, Gives Agencies More Power
State Panel Has $2.7 Billion Plan For Roads, Bridges, Transit
Transportation Commission To Vote On Recommendations
Education Secretary Orders Standard Test Review
Editorial: Sound Rules For Level Field For Appellate Judicial Races
Judge Rules Orie Appeal Frivolous
Editorial: Lawrence County Casino Bid Has A Way To Go
New Head Of Allegheny Bar Association Wants To Help
Marcellus Gas Panel Will Vote On Issues
Click Here for today's Environmental NewsClips

July 14, 2011

July 13, 2011

Rep. Turzai Legislation Gets Pennsylvania Out of the Alcohol Business

To move Pennsylvania out of the post-Prohibition era by allowing the private sector to sell wine and spirits, House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) will unveil legislation to privatize wine and liquor sales in the Commonwealth.
            “Should Pennsylvania be in the business of selling alcohol? Is this a core government function? I don’t think so, and the large majority of Pennsylvanians agree,” Rep. Turzai said.  “The current system is antiquated and out of touch.  It’s time to end the statewide monopoly and give consumers better selection and more convenience.”
            Currently only two states, Pennsylvania and Utah, have complete control over wholesale and retail operations.  Rep. Turzai’s legislation would privatize the wholesale and retail operations of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. 
            House Bill 11 will continue to generate annual revenues through a reformed tax structure, which includes elimination of the 18 percent Johnstown Flood tax and the 30 percent markup by the PLCB. These taxes and charges would be replaced with a fairer gallonage tax. The state will also receive tax revenues from the new retail and wholesale businesses that would be created.
            In addition this legislation also strengthens law enforcement supervision of alcohol sales and enhances alcohol safety and awareness programs. 
            The proposal enhances enforcement of liquor laws by providing concurrent jurisdiction for state and local police; requiring retail managers and employees to attend R.A.M.P. (Responsible Alcohol Management Program) training; mandating the use of I.D. scanners with age verification software; requiring retail operations to be maintained in a separate area dedicated to the sale of liquor and all retail store employees to be at least 21 years old; and subjecting retail licensees to “age compliance checks” to ensure against selling to minors. 
            Licensees who fail to adhere to these standards will face heavy penalties and possible suspension or revocation of their licenses. 
            Under this proposal, the PLCB’s role will focus solely on regulation, enforcement and education, removing the conflict of interest that currently exists by having the same entity promote and regulate alcohol sales.
            Current PLCB employees displaced by privatization will receive the following opportunites: hiring preference in other state jobs; tax credits for employers who would hire them full-time; and education grants to help retrain employees to perform other jobs.
            The current monopoly system was created in 1933 by then-Gov. Gifford Pinchot, who said the PLCB’s mission was to make liquor sales “as inconvenient and expensive as possible.” 
            Over the past few years, the PLCB has attempted to improve customer service with miserable results.  In 2009, the PLCB paid $173,000 for an outside company to provide its employees with courtesy training. 
            The organization also spent more than $4 million a year on advertising and millions of dollars on a “rebranding effort” – even though the PLCB has a monopoly on the market in Pennsylvania.  Also, the wine kiosk program has fallen short of projected sales.  As a result, Wegman’s has recently decided to decommission 10 wine kiosks in its Pennsylvania stores. 
            A June 14 Quinnipiac University statewide poll shows 69 percent of Pennsylvanians polled are in favor of selling the state liquor stores.  Numerous newspapers from across the Commonwealth have also called for privatization of the PLCB. 
            “This is a proposal whose time has come,” Rep. Turzai said. “It’s time to put Pennsylvania in step with the rest of the country.”

Wednesday NewsClips

Corbett Outlines Fall Agenda
Corbett's Legislative To-Do List
Turzai Plan Would Double Liquor Retailers
Corbett Won't Say How Liquor Sales Should Be Privatized
Corbett: School Districts Have Themselves To Blame
Op-Ed: Corbett's First Budget Deserves A D
Editorial: No New Taxes Translates Into Higher Tuition
Corbett Defends Health Secretary
Former Mellow Political Aide Testifies Before Grand Jury
Editorial: No Serious Challenger To Casey
State Isn't Sure About Health Insurance Exchanges
State Threatens To Intervene In Highmark Dispute With UPMC
State On Sideline In Highmark-UPMC Dispute
Analysis Finds Irregularities In School Test Scores
Report On School Test Scores Raises Possibility Of Cheating
Editorial: State Should Probe School Test Scores
Op-Ed: Really Rethinking Prison Budget
New Operator OK'd For Lawrence County Harness Track
Majority Of Harrisburg Council Uncomfortable With Act 47 Plan
Op-Ed: Harrisburg's Sovereignty Is About More Than City
Click Here for today's Environmental NewsClips

July 12, 2011

Senate Fall Session Schedule

The Senate announced its Fall voting session scheduled today--
September 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28
October 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26, 31
November 1, 14, 15, 16
December 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14

Tuesday NewsClips

No Pay Raise Forthcoming For Nonunion State Workers
Editorial: Corbett Vetoes Ill-Considered Property Tax Assessment Bill
Editorial: Legislature Should Take Lead On Property Reassessments
Budget Secretary's Wife Faces DUI Charge
Wife's Arrest Won't Hurt Budget Chief's Status
State Has Few Takers for Federal Mortgage Foreclosure Program
Vietnam Veteran Mulls U.S. Senate Run
PA Racing Commission To Decide On Track Transfer
Republicans Give Themselves More Money Than Democrats
Capitolwire.com reports the new budget for the General Assembly gives Republicans in the Senate and House $12.5 million more for their operations than Democrats. Historically, funding to operate Republican and Democratic staff in the General Assembly has been the same regardless of which party was in power. The split means Republicans get about 52 percent and Democrats 48 percent. Republicans say that's proportional to the percentage split in party membership in both chambers.
Click Here for today's Environmental NewsClips

July 8, 2011

July 11 PA Environment Digest Now Available

July 11 PA Environment Digest now available.  Click Here to print this Digest.

CBF: Settlement With DEP Expands Drilling Permit Reviews In Special Protection Waters

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Department of Environmental Protection have reached a settlement in CBF’s 2009 appeal of three Marcellus Shale drilling permits which prohibits DEP from using its expedited permit review process in High Quality and Exceptional Value special protection watersheds and for well pads in or on a floodplain.
            “In the nearly two years since we began this appeals process, DEP has made significant strides to improve the environmental safeguards with regards to drilling in the Marcellus region, and we commend them for those efforts,” said Ehrhart. “However, while the settlement means strengthened protection for our waters, this one victory does not mean that all the issues regarding permitting and environmental protection for development of the Marcellus Shale are resolved.  CBF, through our partnerships and position on the Governor’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Committee, is continuing to advocate for improvements to safeguard our environmental resources.”  Click Here for more....

Friday NewsClips

Turzai To Order New Round In State Store Debate
Corbett Signs 46 New Laws
A New Source Of Budget Numbers In Harrisburg
Slots Success Builds PA Tax Relief For Homeowners
One Year Of Table Games At Erie Casino
Government Reformers Call For PA Citizens To Refocus On Reform
Corbett's New Appointee May Not Lead Parole Board For Long
Corbett Signs Bill Allowing Sunday Motorcycle Sales
Violations Of Sunshine Act To Cost More
PA Needs To Go On A Diet
Op-Ed: Constables Serve Useful Purpose
DeWeese Questions Philadelphia Prison's Cost
Editorial: No Forged Justice, Orie Trail Must Go On
Editorial: HBG Black Leaders Question Act 47 Plan
Click Here for today's Environmental NewsClips

July 6, 2011

PANPHA Becomes LeadingAge PA

PANPHA, an association of not-for-profit senior services, is changing its name to LeadingAge PA to better reflect the organization’s movement away from a traditional nursing home care structure to one that focuses on the entire spectrum of senior care services that are now available in the 21st century.
            “LeadingAge PA speaks to our efforts of emphasizing a broader spectrum of senior services,” says President and CEO Ron Barth. “Given the reality that Pennsylvania’s 85-plus population is one of the largest in the nation, the sheer numbers of elderly who will need round the clock extensive health and rehab services that can only be provided by long-term care facilities will not shrink. At the same time, we have to do a better job of ensuring that seniors who can be cared for in their homes have the opportunity to do so. Not-for-profit members of LeadingAge PA have createda robust, 21st century system of services to address those needs in care settings that seniors prefer.”
            LeadingAge PA has released a video interview with Barth discussing the name change on its website, YouTube channel, Facebook page and Twitter feed. Links can be found at the following:
            Founded in 1963, LeadingAge PA (formerly PANPHA) is a trade association representing over 350 not-for-profit providers of services, housing, and health care for aging seniors throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Corbett Nominates Joseph Brion To Liquor Control Board

Gov. Tom Corbett today nominated Joseph E. “Skip” Brion, of West Chester, Chester County, to serve as a member of the Liquor Control Board.
            Brion is a managing partner at the law firm of Buckley, Brion, McGuire, Morris & Sommer in West Chester. Since 1988, he has served on the Delaware Valley Regional Finance Authority. He has also served on a number of other boards and civic organizations.
            Brion holds a bachelors degree from St. Joseph’s University and earned his law degree from the Villanova School of Law. He and his wife, Glenda, have two adult children.
            Upon confirmation by the Senate, Brion will succeed Thomas Goldsmith, whose second term as a member of the PLCB has expired.

Wednesday NewsClips

Corbett Not Interested In Philadelphia, Among Other Things
Forgery Of Orie Papers Confirmed
Secret Service: 3 Documents In Orie Trial
State Stores Had Record $2 Billion In Sales
Gaming Revenue From Slots Continues To Grow
Charitable Groups Adding Up Impact Of Budget
PA Schools Top Highest Tuition List
PHEAA Raises Size, Number Of College Grants
Who Killed PA's Foreclosure Rescue Programs?
Released PA Inmates Often Go Back In
Opinions Vary On Expansion Of Castle Doctrine
State Universities to Provide Health Benefits For Same-Sex Couples
Jobless Benefits Abuse Rate Hits 11.6 Percent
Editorial: Property Assessment Moratorium Should Cover All
Editorial: Emergency Call For Public Disclosure
Casey's War Chest Reported At $3.1 Million
Losers Far Outspent Election Winners In Lehigh
City, County Leadership Questioned In Harrisburg Act 47 Plan
Harrisburg's Final Act 47 Plan To Go Public On Friday
Controller: Harrisburg Mayor's Direct Deposit Release Disingenuous
Editorial: Capital Region Must Learn To Work Together
Click Here for today's Environmental NewsClips

July 5, 2011

LCB Reports Record Sales, Contributions To State Revenues

The Liquor Control Board last year delivered strong returns at the cash register and record revenue to the state Treasury. Sales at Pennsylvania's state-operated Wine & Spirits stores increased by $60 million in fiscal year 2010-11, reaching a record $1.96 billion – a four-percent increase year over year. Those sales generated more than $496 million in sales tax, liquor tax and profit transfers for the commonwealth – the largest General Fund infusion in the history of the PLCB.
"Never in the history of this agency has the PLCB delivered such strong returns," said Patrick "P.J." Stapleton III, chairman of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. "We are gratified to be contributing so materially to Pennsylvania's budget. And observers of our growth know it hasn't happened by accident. For the last four years, this leadership team has implemented a strategy to run the PLCB more like a business – and these numbers are the result."
"And we're generating those business returns while still directing substantial resources to our unique social mission: best-in-class prevention programs to limit underage alcohol use, and alcohol-education efforts – initiatives that directly and positively impact Pennsylvania's quality of life."
The PLCB's four-percent sales growth puts the LCB at the top of its peer group. The National Alcohol Beverage Control Association, NABCA, – which represents the nation's 19 alcohol-control states – reports that the average sales growth over the last year for those states stood at three-percent.  Stapleton was named director of the NABCA earlier this year.
As PLCB Chairman, Stapleton noted he was particularly proud of the enormous growth of the Chairman's Selection™ wine program – with sales now exceeding $50 million – a 19-percent increase year over year. Overall, wine sales were up 4.8% system wide. Chairman's Selection™ wines offer premium wines at tremendous value, allowing wine buyers to find highly rated favorites or undiscovered gems, often at the best prices nationwide.
The PLCB transferred more than $20 million last year to the Pennsylvania State Police for liquor law enforcement. In addition, since 1999, the PLCB's Bureau of Alcohol Education has awarded over $4.5 million in grants to 246 colleges and universities, police departments, and other organizations to combat underage and dangerous drinking. 
Since 2001, the Responsible Alcohol Management Program, RAMP, has trained nearly 20,000 owners/managers and more than 133,000 server/sellers in how to responsibly sell alcohol to customers. With preventing sales to minors as its top priority, PLCB store employees in 2010 checked the identification of nearly one million suspected minors at its more than 600 stores statewide.